The future of West Hollywood’s card rooms could be under threat from proposed new legislation, according to the manager of Commerce Casino.
As reported by GGB News Edgar Cisneros suggests that changes to the current system will make card games difficult to play in the city, with additional complications thrust upon players. It could even threaten the future of card rooms such as his, which with 240 tables generates about 45% of the city’s tax revenue.
Under current California laws, card rooms that are not located on tribal lands cannot have any financial stake in the outcome of the game. In Las Vegas and Native American lands, tables are a method by which a player looks to win money from the casino.
In California, a casino employee acts as the dealer, but an independent representative from a separate business acts as a licensed banker, known as the house. They are responsible for collecting money from the losers and handing it out to the winners. I Gaming Times confirms how under the proposed legislation, each player at the table would take a turn at being a banker and if they refused, they would be excluded. If nobody took the role of banker, the game would stop.
“It’s going to devastate a lot of working-class communities, not just the city of Commerce,” said, Cisneros. The impact on the area could indeed be severe, with the Californian Gaming Association covering how the card rooms benefit the local area. They believe cardrooms are responsible for more than 23,000 jobs, $2bn in annual economic activity and generate over $300 million in federal, state and local tax revenues every year. New rules could see much of that lost.
Brick and mortar establishments are already under threat from online gaming sites, which are also rising hugely in popularity. Card games such as poker are becoming more accessible and accepted online, creating significant problems for card rooms. An Expatbets feature on PPPoker explains how online gaming is another serious threat to card rooms and casinos. Online providers are delivering a fresh approach to the social aspects of online poker, as well as making rooms safer and even offering entry to major tournaments from the comfort of your own home. When coupled with the latest proposals, the future looks bleak for establishments such as Bicycle Hotel.
Facing such stiff competition from all angles, the Californian Gaming Association released a statement outlining their fears. “If these regulations were adopted as proposed, they would kill the card room industry and devastate dozens of communities and thousands of working California families across the state.”
However, a Calvin Ayre article outlines some of the logic behind the regulations, with card rooms recently being fined millions of dollars for breaching anti-money laundering protocol. Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno had an $8 million civil penalty imposed upon it and that, in part, has led to the proposed changes.
The issue won’t be resolved immediately, as the CGA will almost certainly kick back against anything that is seen to impact their businesses, whatever it might take to block.
If you do find it tough to find a suitable place to play poker in West Hollywood, it is worth checking out our article explaining seven reasons to visit the MGM in Las Vegas this year.
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